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Discover: Night Riots


Discover: Night Riots

When someone recommends a band to me, I usually give it a listen. There is a lot of music in this world, both good and bad, but I’m always willing to take the chance that what has been recommended to me is good. The band that was recently recommended to me is a California alternative rock band called Night Riots. You may have heard of them–they’ve been blowing up on the scene lately and after going through what their discography has to offer, I’m not surprised.

Hailing from San Luis Obispo, the band consists of vocalist Travis Hawley, guitarists Nick Fotinakes and Matt DePauw, bassist Mikel Van Kranenburg, and drummer Rico Rodriguez. A fun mix of alternative rock and electronic, their music had me hooked from the very beginning. I started with the deluxe edition of Howl (2015), which consists of seven original tracks, one orchestral rendition, and three remixes. Every single song on that album packs the perfect musical blend of catchy pop hit and rock instrumentals. I was a couple of songs in when that nagging feeling of “who does his voice sound like?” hit me. After puzzling it out for a while, I realized that Hawley’s voice sounds remarkably like a mix of Andrew McMahon (Jack’s Mannequin, Something Corporate, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness) and Brandon Flowers (The Killers), but just a bit rougher, a little edgier. Of course, the comparison is not intended to be disrespectful or to detract from the band’s quality. The familiarity is welcome and is only one element among many that makes Night Riots one of the bands to keep your eyes on.

Young Lore (2013) consists of six tracks, starting off with a dance-inducing song called “Back to Your Love.” Continuing through the rest of the record, Young Lore has little of what many first releases contains. Everything is smooth, polished, and enjoyable. There are sprinkles of darker sounds throughout, such as in the long notes in “Spiders” and “Masks,” but those sprinkles fall short of overpowering the lighter mood created by the electronic melodies. Closing with “Loyal Blood,” a cute, happy vibes song and the bouncy, coming-of-age movie type title track, Young Lore is the crowning achievement of first releases, and you will never get me to budge on that statement.


The boys’ debut album, Love Gloom, will be released tomorrow, October 21, via Sumerian Records. Check out the official teaser below and you just might find yourself completely sold.

The band will be having a global listening party for Love Gloom on Facebook Live at 6 PM PST, and will be answering questions and talking about the album, so if you’re excited about Love Gloom and Night Riots, BE THERE.

Connect w/ Night Riots:

22. CA. Writer. Will never say no to "Do you wanna get coffee?" but will say no to sleeping at a decent time.

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